McNiff reframes the subject of Quality. As quality matters, the "how to” do the very best with one’s creative expressions, he believes comes from a commitment to one’s values. He encourages “good enough,” not perfection within one’s work to assist with the negative self critical statements that may become blocks. Although there are social judgments about one’s creative work, and may be impossible to avoid. Describing some qualities that support one in achieving good enough work such as “genuineness, expressive energy and impact, uniqueness of style and subject matter, degree of risk and challenge, the transformation of difficult material into something new and life affirming, and lasting power,” he reminds the reader, there will be those in society who believe they are the ones to determine creative worthiness within an art community. He stresses the importance of developing skill to have mastery over their materials, as well as to know where one is in the development of those skills. It is the skill level of the materials being used, not the over all abilities to create. McNiff shares an example of Henri Matisse drawing with long sticks in order to develop his muscles in his hands. One area most everyone experiences is the over doing of the creative task, and losing the expression. Skill, as McNiff states, “often involves knowing what to keep and when to stop.” He also suggests the importance of community and how it impacts creative expression. Partnerships with other more experienced in their medium help to increase the abilities of others, and motivate others who are less developed.
I encourage you to buy a copy of Imagination in Action for a better understanding of your own creative process. Whether you're a master artist or beginning artist, this is an excellent book.